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Shoe manufacturers open multi brand retail outlets
Feb '08
In quantitative terms, the country with the most significant levels of shoe production in Europe is still, as ever, Italy. Over the last ten years the structure of the Italian shoe industry has scarcely altered: small and medium-sized producers are in the majority.

Over this period, however, the number of operating businesses has shrunk from 8,500 to 6,657, and the number of employees has decreased by 28,000 to 94,143 at the end of 2006. The high proportion of small businesses makes research and marketing investments more difficult.

For this reason the shoe manufacturers association ANCI, with the support of the foreign trade institute Instituto Nazionale per il Commercio Estero (ICE), is planning a joint marketing initiative abroad.

The aim, under the trademark slogan “I love Italian shoes” - to which 150 manufacturers have already signed up - is to develop a chain of stores.

In March 2007 the first of these multi-brand retail outlets opened with a trading area of 280 sq. metres in the Russian city of Omsk.

From 2008, as promised by the minister for foreign trade Emma Bonino, the ICE will include the shoe sector more strongly in its 100 million euro promotion programme.

Italian shoe exports to Germany, its most important foreign sales market, decreased again in 2006, with sales value sinking by 1.6% and shoe quantities by 11.5%.

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